** The Bees by Laline Paull

The heroine of The Bees is a lowly sanitation worker, Flora 717, who through pluck, intelligence, hard work, and luck will eventually overturn the set order of the hive. The story has a 1984-like plot overlaid with assiduous regurgitations of the latest studies in bee communications — so that the result oscillates between a delightful rendition of the exploits of the heroine (most of the time) and a highly predictable, even boring structure. If you can forget that you have read the story before, you will be cheering for 717!


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